India Sports

Arjuna Awardees in Yachting

Yachting used to be a rare pastime once upon a time, but today it's a favorite sport of businessmen and young enthusiasts. Many yacht services have mushroomed across the coastal regions and are growing with the rate of 14% annually in India. Cruising is also growing rapidly, though Indian tax policies and port infrastructure is not conducive for the growth of sailing. Because of insufficient berthing facilities and improper tax policies, around 80,000 Indians choose to cruise abroad every year.

The sport of yachting is getting very popular in India especially across Mumbai region, where small boats sail on the Mumbai- Goa route. The bigger yachts throng Mumbai Dubai sea route. During rainy season, sailing becomes quite rare across Mumbai region. The official site of Yachting Association of India is, where you can get more information about yachting in India.

The Yachting Association of India is affiliated to International Sailing Federation (ISAF), which is recognized as the governing authority of the sport of yachting globally. It is responsible for the promotion of the sports of sailing, personal watercraft, wind surfing, powerboat racing and motor boating in India. Though the game of yachting is very popular in Indian rural regions but it is in its rudimentary form there. Not many people are aware of yachting as a sport and that is the reason there are very few performers in this game on national or international levels. That was probably the reason the Indian government decided to provide Arjuna Award almost 23 years after the independence, which was a little late.

Lt. Cdr S J Contractor became the first person to win the Arjuna Award for yachting in the 70s. Afsar Hussain became the next person to win this coveted award in 1973 and that was three years after the first award. The third award was given after a gap of six years after the second award, when Cdr. S K Mongia won the award in 1979, followed by Zarir Karanjia two years later.

As far as private sailing clubs in India are concerned the highest number of clients chooses power yachts and speedboats. Water sports are gaining popularity with several new water sports destinations emerging in India. Mandwa in Alibaug is one such haven of sailing, where sailing-yachts and speedboats abound in number.

The sport of yachting gathered momentum in 1982, when three brilliant sailors Farookh Taraporewala along with F. Unwalla and J. Unwalla won the Arjuna Award together. Lt. Dhruva Bhandari again hit the headlines in 1986, when he bagged this coveted award. In the following years C S Pradipak and P K Garg won this award in 1987 and 1990, respectively. In the year 1993, Cdr. Homi Motiwala was honored with the Arjuna Award in yachting and three years later the prestigious award for yachting went to Subbanand Rao, posthumously.

Aashim Mongia claimed the award near the end of the millennium in 1999 and Nitin Mongia rose to fame and glory in the sport of yachting, when he claimed the award in 2002. Girdhari Lal Yadav became the most recent person to win the Award in 2009 proving the fact, that yachting is catching up in India rapidly and more and more talents are coming in this field. The day is not far when India would be on the world map of yachting, provided Indian government relaxes the tax laws and improves the port infrastructure so that more and more people may opt for it, as compared to the foreign destinations they choose to go to enjoy this adventurous sport.

YearArjuna Award Recipient's Name
1970Lt. Cdr. S.J. Contractor
1973Afsar Hussain
1978-79Cdr. S.K. Mongia
1981Zarir Karanjia
1982Farookh Taraporewala, F. Unwalla and J. Unwalla
1986Lt. Dhruva Bhandari
1987C.S. Pradipak
1990P.K. Garg
1993Cdr. Homi Motiwala
1996Lt Cdr. Subbanant Rao (Posthumosly)
1999Ashim Mongia
2002Nitin Mongia
2009Girdhari Lal Yadav

Last Updated on 09/11/2012